ISOLDE

The Synchrocyclotron beam ends

19 December 1990

On 19 December 1990, at noon, the beam from the Synchrocyclotron (SC) is stopped. At the end of the eighties the decision was taken to shut down the SC.

The ISOLDE programme should, however, continue at CERN and new facility will be built for an external beam from the Proton Synchrotron Booster

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ISOLDE

Inauguration of the new ISOLDE PSB facility

29 May 1992

The new ISOLDE PSB Facility has two isotope separators, a general-purpose separator with one magnet (GPS) and a high-resolution separator with two magnets, similar to the ISOLDE III design. The target handling in the facility is fully automatized with robots. 

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ISOLDE

First experiment at the ISOLDE Proton-Synchrotron Booster

26 June 1992

First experiment at the ISOLDE Proton-Synchrotron Booster.

The first experiment was carried out on June 26, where the beta-proton decay of the neon isotope with mass number 17 was studied. This experiment was relevant for the understanding of nuclear halo structure, first proposed at ISOLDE.

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ISOLDE

First use of robots for target interventions

1 May 1995

Industrial robots are installed for manipulation of ISOLDE targets, which allows all target changes and manipulations of used target-ion-source systems to be made without human intervention.

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ISOLDE

New accelerator, REX-ISOLDE, goes live

31 October 2001

A new accelerator, REX-ISOLDE, is put into operation on 31 October 2001. This post-accelerator has opened up new fields of research using radioactive ion beams of higher energies. REX-ISOLDE can provide post-accelerated nuclei covering the whole mass range from He to U for reaction studies and Coulomb excitation with energies up to 3 MeV/u. To this day, REX has accelerated over 100 isotopes of more than 30 different elements.

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ISOLDE

Radioactive laboratory of class A at ISOLDE

1 July 2004

(Image: A 3-D drawing of the Class A Lab with a photo inset)

The new Class A building at ISOLDE is built to enable UCx target material to be produced and irradiated targets to be handled safely. The Class A laboratory is equipped with fume cupboards, full protective measures and aerosol monitoring. It can handle 150 g UO2 per day, corresponding to two target containers.

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ISOLDE

ISCOOL, the RFQ Cooler and Buncher

7 November 2007

(Image: ISCOOL, an ion cooler and buncher installed at ISOLDE)

An ion cooler and buncher, ISCOOL, is installed in the HRS section of ISOLDE. Beams with strongly reduced emittances and energy spreads are now available for all experiments downstream the beam line.

Using its bunching capabilities, ISCOOL permits an increase in the sensitivity for experiments such as those devotde to collinear laser spectroscopy. The first physics run with this device took place in July 2008 where the isotope 77Ga (T1/2=13 s) was studied with the COLLAPS laser spectroscopy setup.

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ISOLDE

HIE-ISOLDE project approved

2 September 2009

(Image: The ISOLDE beamline, equipped with the first HIE-ISOLDE cryomodule in its light grey cryostat)

The HIE-ISOLDE project is a major staged upgrade of the existing ISOLDE facility. It includes an energy increase of the REX post-accelerator up to 5.5 MeV/u with a future option of going to 10 MeV/u, as well as an upgrade of the REX low energy stage capacity. The beam quality will be improved e.g. with the installation of a RFQ cooler and a new Resonant Laser Ionization System. The driver intensity will be increased from the new Linac-4 and upgrades in the intensity and energy of the PS Booster. 

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ISOLDE

Approval of the CERN-MEDICIS project

22 November 2012

(Image: Groundbreaking for the CERN-MEDICIS building. From left - R. Meuli, Chef du Département de Radiologie Médicale, CHUV, D. Hanahan, Director, Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research R. Heuer, Directeur général, CERN Y. Grandjean Secrétaire général, HUG P. Piet Van Duppen, Nuclear Spectroscopy Group, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Credit: Maximillien Brice/ CERN)

CERN-MEDICIS will use the primary proton beam at ISOLDE to produce radioisotopes for medical research. A second target will be placed after the one at ISOLDE as the high energy proton beam only deposits 10% of its intensity and energy when traversing the standard type of ISOLDE target and thus the protons passing through the target can still be used. An automated conveyor will then carry this second target to the CERN-MEDICIS infrastructure, where the radioisotopes will be extracted.

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ISOLDE

ISOLDE success culminates in three Nature publications

9 May 2013

In the middle of 2013 the success of combined technical and physical efforts was demonstrated in three papers published in Nature within the space of one month.

  1. The acceleration of the hitherto heaviest post-accelerated beams, 220Rn and 224Rn and detection of gamma rays from Coulomb excitation in the MINIBALL Germanium detector array showed octupole deformed (pear-like) shapes of the nuclei (Nature 497 (2013) 199).
  2. With the very successful mass spectrometer ISOLTRAP the mass of the exotic nuclide 54Ca was determined. The mass systematics confirmed the existence of a new magic number N=32 and provides a validation of three-body forces using chiral perturbation theory (Nature 498 (2013) 346).
  3. In a high-precision study via Rydberg states with the laser ion-source (RILIS), the ionisation potential for the element Astatine, the least abundant chemical element on earth, was determined (Nature Communications 4 (2013) 1835).
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ISOLDE

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